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fstuff1

Backup plan to get Euros and £ incase my debit card doesnt work in ATM?

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Posted (edited)

im taking a transatlantic next week from America to portugal, spain, paris, and finally England.

 

i have the schwab debit card which has no foreign fees and reimburses me for atm fees, if any.

the problem is that it doesnt work in some countries. (ie: antigua in the carribean)

 

suggestions on a good backup plan to get cash without being raped in fees?

 

Edited by fstuff1

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Why not get currency before you leave from AAA?  You can order it from them if you have membership and they will have it for pickup the next day.

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30 minutes ago, iluvcruzin said:

Why not get currency before you leave from AAA?  You can order it from them if you have membership and they will have it for pickup the next day.

 

dont have AAA.

i have roadside assistance from my car insurance

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AAA doesn't have some type of currency available any longer. I prefer to now order it online from my bank (BofA)...easy to do....so OP check with your bank.

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6 hours ago, Ashland said:

AAA doesn't have some type of currency available any longer. I prefer to now order it online from my bank (BofA)...easy to do....so OP check with your bank.

True - it has been my experience that the office near me carries Euros and GPB but no rubles, zloty, forint, etc. I can, however, order any currency online from AAA and it arrives in a few days. My bank (Wells Fargo) also carries the same foreign currencies as AAA. That said, I no longer order foreign currency in the US - I wait until I arrive at my destination and use my ATM card. I was not aware that cards would not work in some countries.

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13 hours ago, fstuff1 said:

im taking a transatlantic next week from America to portugal, spain, paris, and finally England.

 

i have the schwab debit card which has no foreign fees and reimburses me for atm fees, if any.

the problem is that it doesnt work in some countries. (ie: antigua in the carribean)

 

suggestions on a good backup plan to get cash without being raped in fees?

 

Talk to your card issuer and find out whether your card can be used in the countries you want, and if so whether it is at particular banks only.

 

You do know that there are 2 main networks, Citrus and Plus? Check the logos on your card, and then search the websites of those operators to find out where the card can be used.

 

You might want to read this with its links

https://www.smartertravel.com/atms-abroad-travelers-need-know/

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10 hours ago, iluvcruzin said:

Why not get currency before you leave from AAA?  You can order it from them if you have membership and they will have it for pickup the next day.

I got my euros & pounds from Travelex.  Money sent via UPS 2 day service.  Ordered Tues.  Rec'd Thursday. You order the money, you must sign for it with your ID.

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I would take my chances with an ATM before I'd pay the hefty fees and bad currency rates with Travelex.  Also, it should be noted that all your ports except England use the Euro, so as long as your ATM card works in the first port, you can get enough currency for the rest of the trip.  Finally, ATMs in Antigua are notorious for not working, especially the ones on the street, so it may have been that reason you ad problems with your Schwab card there.

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1 hour ago, FredZiffle said:

I would take my chances with an ATM before I'd pay the hefty fees and bad currency rates with Travelex.  Also, it should be noted that all your ports except England use the Euro, so as long as your ATM card works in the first port, you can get enough currency for the rest of the trip.  Finally, ATMs in Antigua are notorious for not working, especially the ones on the street, so it may have been that reason you ad problems with your Schwab card there.

 

Before you blindly say that Travelex rates are hefty ... you should call banks and find out the current rates.  It was MUCH cheaper for me to use Travelex than my local banks.  

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11 minutes ago, CruiseGal999 said:

 

Before you blindly say that Travelex rates are hefty ... you should call banks and find out the current rates.  It was MUCH cheaper for me to use Travelex than my local banks.  

Not saying it blindly.  I've used Travelex in the past when they were the only option.  I use BOA as my bank, which fortunately waives their transaction fees for their top customers.  Today, for $1,000 US, I can get 860 Euros through BOA, but only 809 Euros through Travelex online.    Even so, I rarely get foreign currency ahead of time unless I know I'm going to need it before the likelihood of seeing an ATM.

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I would also exchange cash in advance. Not sure what the cheapest provider would be in your area, but for me, it would be my local currency exchange, as it offers slightly better rates than my bank. As gnome12 said, check what card your network is under to further see what ATM options would be available for you. 

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I bank at a small regional bank and have had no issues getting Euros or Pound ahead of time.  They carry Euros, have to order Pounds for me.  My debit card through them has worked everywhere.  I only get the Pound or Euros even on a Baltic cruise, I never try to have every country as I find those two currencies are fine.

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Just from personal experience I would tell you that my Schwab Card has worked everywhere I have tried it in Europe.  It has covered the continent.  They have reimbursed  every fee to date.   Obviously I cannot guarantee it but I think you will be OK.

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I too have the Schwabb debit card. Just make sure you notify the company first as to what countries you'll be visiting and when. You can do this online.

 

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, krillsister said:

I too have the Schwabb debit card. Just make sure you notify the company first as to what countries you'll be visiting and when. You can do this online.

 

 

thanks!
here's the link:

https://client.schwab.com/Apps/service/Cardsandchecks/#/

 

interesting.. you can't add Canada or england??

 

Edited by fstuff1

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21 hours ago, fstuff1 said:

 

thanks!
here's the link:

https://client.schwab.com/Apps/service/Cardsandchecks/#/

 

interesting.. you can't add Canada or england??

 

Also beware that Schwab has a 2 week limit on its online site.  I do not really know how or if they would enforce that but to be on the safe side I have always just contacted them directly when my overseas travel exceeds that length of time.

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Do not remember adding Canada when I have gone there, but on many trips we have never had any problems withdrawing cash from an ATM at any bank.

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Posted (edited)

Am I missing something here?

You only want a back-up plan in case your debit card doesn't work, right?

A back-up that you'll hopefully not have to use?

 

So, other than a few euros to tide you over for a while, I don't see any point in going to the grief, complication and expense of changing money in the US (or indeed anywhere else) before you travel 'cos however and wherever you do it, it will cost.. You have no idea how many euros or pounds that you'll need - change too little and if your debit card doesn't work you might be in deep do-do's, change too much and you'll have the double expense of changing some back.

 

We always take a chunk of reserve cash in our own currency, but have only ever had to use some of it once - about £40 due to a recalcitrant ATM. So in years of foreign travel we've only had to use a local exchange bureau once & never ended up bringing back too much unspent foreign currency. 

 

And we use our (no foreign transaction fee) credit cards for the vast bulk of our spending in Europe.

We have always kept a stash of euros for frequent forays across The Ditch, but credit cards are more-and-more the way to go in Europe, even for small purchases, and we haven't topped up that stash for literally years. 

 

So I suggest you simply take a few hundred dollars as a reserve and put it in your cabin safe.

You'll probably take it all home with you.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull

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Tis a good topic.  We spend up to 7 months a year out of our country and totally rely on ATMs for cash in Europe and the rest of the world.  Having a good back up plan and even a back up to the backup is part of good travel planning.   Since some of our trips are 2 months in length, we must have access to lots of cash.   Accordingly we have 3 different ATM cards....each drawn on a different account in a different bank/credit union.  2 of those 3 ATM cards have no foreign exchange or user fees other then the standard 1% International Services Fee imposed on all ATM transactions (this is buried in the exchange rate).  We use one of those cards as our primary source of money and the other two are backups.  We have further backups in that we carry all 3 major credit cards (Visa. MC and AMEX) anyone of which can be used to obtain cash advances.....if all else fails.  

 

For those folks who only have one ATM account we do think  that having a back up plan is essential.  One easy solution is to carry some extra US Dollars which can be exchanged in just about any country.  As to getting Euros (or other currency) before you leave home, it is an option but you will generally not get a favorable rate of exchange.  We find it easier to simply get some cash as soon as we get to our destination (most airports (not all) have bank ATMs).  I mention "bank" ATMs because we avoid other ATMs such as those owned by Travelex...which do not give the best exchange rates.

 

Hank

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I have had no issues with ATM's in Europe. I just wonder if there is a daily limit allowed to withdraw. I know almost all tours and airport transfers only take cash. So if I have booked something at the beginning of my trip, I just take some Euros with me so if there is a daily limit and I don't fall short.  I have used AAA and Travelex for these services. 

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